ReviewJan 23rd, 2024

Is Your Dealership Ready to Market the Latest Technologies On Display at CES 2024?

CES First Article Image

Even though sales have slowed a bit recently, electric vehicles (EVs) continue to be poised for growth in the coming years. There were a handful of technologies on hand at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024 in Las Vegas. At the show, the incredible future of transportation took the spotlight, and it is always wise for dealers and their marketing divisions to stay on top of what’s coming.

The expo showed us what an interconnected automotive future looks like. From stylish electric cars, efficient charging stations that fit in with our everyday life, linked cars to state-of-the-art battery technology, and data-driven innovation is enabling smart living and personal mobility. Dealers and dealership personnel must be aware of each of these so that they can outfit their locations with the latest and greatest offerings that cater to their customers and shoppers.

Offerings from exciting brands

The expo highlighted the active presence of Honda, Mercedes-Benz, and VinFast as well as others showcasing their debut EVs and related technologies. Technology developers, EV startups, and automotive systems suppliers showcased their solutions on the lines of CASE (connected, autonomous, shared, and electric) mobility trends, complemented by software and electronic firms.

Honda previewed its latest work, the “Honda 0 Series” of EVs which is intended to be launched globally beginning in 2026. On top of this exciting news, two concept models named ‘Saloon’ and ‘Space-Hub’ from the series were premiered at the expo as well.

Mercedes-Benz presented its ‘Concept CLA Class’ electric car in North America for the first time. The car boasts the new Mercedes-Benz Operating System (MB.OS), a new electric drive unit (MB.EDU) featuring 800-volt architecture and 93-percent efficiency battery to wheels over long journeys, and a single-charge range of 750 km (WLTP).

Not only that, but Mercedes-Benz also showcased the electric version of the famous Geländewagen (G-Klasse) 'EQG' which has a "tank turn" function.

VinFast Auto launched the VF 3, which is their newest electric mini-SUV. For those more into trucks, VinFast offers the ‘VF Wild’ electric pick-up truck. Lastly, the company will have electric bikes known as ‘DrgnFly.’

Kia unveiled its distinctive lineup of last-mile delivery cars, ride-hailing, and electric vans designed on a new, shared modular platform for international markets.

Worldwide automotive supplier Hyundai Mobis revealed the "MOBION" electric vehicle (EV), which for the first time features the next-generation 'e-Corner System' motion technology.

The 'Pelkan' electric light commercial vehicle (eLCV) from EV startup B-ON has a driving range of up to 298 km when fully charged. It is available with 54 kWh and 43 kWh battery capacities.

For intelligent and unmanned EV charging services, NaaS Technology revealed its cutting-edge automated energy supply charging robot. Additionally, the Chinese company with a U.S. listing unveiled its 480KW split-type EV charging stack.

With a peak power of 250 kW and a high axle torque of 5,000 Nm, Magna unveiled its next-generation 800V 'eDrive' solution for cars in the C, D, and E categories.

Paccar showcased the XD battery-electric car from DAF as well as an EV charging system created by Paccar Parts.

Intel expanded its 'AI everywhere' approach to include new AI system-on-chips (SoCs) for EVs, bringing AI efficiency to EV energy management.

Hydrogen becoming more of a reality

Are dealers prepared for hydrogen? Hydrogen mobility and fuel-cell technology made an appearance at CES 2024. Hyundai presented displays that illustrated the use of hydrogen and "software-defined vehicles" (SDV) as components of its ecosystem for hydrogen energy and a move toward software-driven approaches.

In contrast, Paccar displayed its Kenworth's T680 Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV), which uses next-generation hydrogen fuel cell technology that was created in collaboration with Toyota Motor North America.

Aside from this, the show served as a testament to the new electrification trends in both private transportation (such as e-bikes and go-karts) and aviation, which includes commercial drone use.

For example, Pivotal, a startup, unveiled its 'Helix' personal electric aircraft, while Zipline and Wing, two drone businesses, focused on e-commerce enterprises for delivery applications. The 'S-A2' electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft from Hyundai's U.S. air taxi business Supernal was on display at this year's CES, while Xpeng Motors' subsidiary Xpeng Aeroht unveiled its impressive eVTOL "flying car" idea.

While some of these technologies seem far-fetched for today’s dealerships, it’s important to ask the question ‘are we ready’? Global markets and consumers are quickly warming to the idea of these technologies being put to everyday use, and dealers and their marketing arms must identify ways to participate in various sales and service offerings.

    John Sternal is a Partner and Director of PR & Social Media at Merit Mile, where he oversees strategic client programs for PR, social media, and communications research. He has been writing about the automotive industry since 2005 and has more than 25 years of experience in building brands and creating brand awareness through PR, communications, and media strategy.

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